Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis 3D Carbon
The MP-09 has always been an imposing watch within the collection of Hublot. It is the brand’s first bi-axis tourbillon, which gets center stage thanks to the uniquely shaped case that follows the curve of the wrist. This alone makes the MP-09 a masterpiece, as crafting all the different angles is highly complex. Initially, the model was launched in King Gold, black 3D Carbon, and titanium. Now, Hublot is launching an additional four different versions, all in colored 3D Carbon.
While this material was already in the first all-black version of the MP-09 impressive, using color highlights the unique pattern of the 3D Carbon even further. Hublot achieves this by solution-dyeing part of the carbon, so that the colored parts form a symmetrical pattern that runs all the way through the material. The brand is offering the new watch in four different colors, each limited to only eight pieces. Available in either blue, red, yellow, and green, do they come with matching rubber straps as well as hands and hour markers. With this, they make a profound colorful statement, all the more because the case is an imposing 49mm in diameter and 17.95mm thick.
Equally impressive is the movement inside the case. Caliber HUB9009.H1.RA is a manual wound movement with a generous power reserve of 5-days. It comes with a bi-axis tourbillon housed in a separate part of the case at six o’clock. There it performs its mesmerizing dance with a full rotation every minute for the first axis, while it takes the second axis 30 seconds to do the same. To ensure a perfect view is the MP-09 fitted with a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides. Hublot placed the date on the side of the off-center subdial for the hours and minutes, which can easily be adjusted by the lever at nine o’clock. All combined does it make for a spectacular and very colorful new interpretation of one of Hublot’s most imposing tourbillons.
Hublot is no stranger to creating very big, very serious watches. Whether it’s something like the LaFerrari or “just” a titanium minute repeater, the manufacture can flex its muscles when it wants to. The new MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis is the latest instance of such a move. It’s the first multi-axis tourbillon from Hublot, and it’s in-house no less.
When you first look at the MP-09, you know you’re looking at something complicated, and it’s obvious that your attention is supposed to be on that massive spinning thing down at the bottom of the watch. But, what’s not clear is all that’s going on under the surface and just how complex that impressive mechanism actually is.
The engine for this machine is the HUB9009.H1.RA caliber, and the watch was designed from the movement up. This caliber is an automatic movement with a five-day power reserve that is produced in-house by Hublot at its manufacture. At the heart of this movement is the bi-axial tourbillon, which makes a full rotation on one axis in one minute and a full rotation on a second axis every 30 seconds.
To properly show the tourbillon off, Hublot created a brand new 49mm diameter case for this watch. You’ve got the massive window down below that lets you admire the tourbillon from multiple angles, but up top you get the screwed bezel and case angles that make you think immediately of Hublot. The time is displayed in the top right portion of the “dial” (if you can even call it that) and there’s a power reserve indicator at the left. Underneath the time are two arcs of numerals that show the date in an unusual display that seems right at home on this watch.
It would be easy to miss, because of all that’s going on with the tourbillon, but there’s also an interesting date corrector on the left side of the case. You simple press the lever up or down to adjust the date forward or backward one day. It’s extremely simple and a nice addition to this watch. There are three version of this watch, all limited editions. There is an titanium edition, produced in 50 examples and priced at $169,000; there is a King Gold edition, produced in 20 examples and priced at $211,000; and, last but not least, there is a titanium edition with pavé diamonds, produced in TK examples and priced at $190,000. Titanium and diamonds for less than gold? Sign me up.
At Baselworld 2017, Hublot announced the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis, the latest chapter in their collection of Manufacture Piece (MP) watches. Hublot designed a compelling 3-sided sapphire crystal case that tapers at 6 o’clock specifically to display the double rotation of the bi-axial tourbillon. Not just the case was created to put the bi-axial tourbillon front and center, the new movement was created with maximum visibility of this mechanism in mind. So, yeah, this Hublot is all about being seen and the result is a watch that’s really unlike any other.
Limited to 50 pieces in titanium and 20 pieces in King Gold, the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis is yet another limited release and that is, at least in part, due to the difficulties involved with the manufacturing process. Evidently, the step-down pattern worked into the lower part of the crystal can’t be easy to achieve but it offers a clear and unrestricted view of the tourbillon’s range of motion. This should be a visual treat to witness as the first axis makes its full rotation every minute while the second axis does it in just 30 seconds. The result is a seemingly frantic display of complication which the wearer can then admire through various angles thanks to the distinct sapphire crystal design.
In big, bold Hublot style, the case of the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis measures 49mm in diameter and 17.95mm thick. I think the size is fitting for the design and will work well to enhance the prominence of the bi-axial tourbillon display. It also provides 30m of water resistance (in case you drop it in the pool or something) and both the titanium and gold versions have been finished with a range of satin, polished, and micro-blasted surfaces. Most notably, the high polishing on both sides of the lugs and the bezel transition nicely as you move closer to the sapphire tourbillon window, something I’m sure will translate much better in person as far as the visuals go. Another interesting feature is the lever system at 9 o’clock which moves the date forward or back a day with ease.
The 43-jewel caliber HUB9009.H1.RA is a self-winding movement that operates at 3Hz and delivers a total 5 days of power reserve. As viewed from the sapphire case back, the movement shows the kind of detailed construction and finishing you expect with gray-coated Anthracite bridges, a polished Rhodium plated balance, and of course, the defining bi-axis tourbillon array that serves as its most notable feature. In addition, both models of the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis come with a patterned black rubber strap with a matching deployant clasp in titanium or King gold.
Looking like a Star Wars helmet for a cyborg, the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis watch is not for the faint of heart considering design and price. But even as a bystander looking from afar, I almost wouldn’t have it any other way when it comes to Hublot and their outlandish designs. They’ve shown that they’re capable of thriving amid controversy while delivering the kind of watches capable of stopping us right in our tracks as we drone through our #dailywatch Instagram feeds. The Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis is priced at $169,000 in titanium, $211,000 in King Gold, and $190,000 for the titanium pavé version.